What Makes Data Breaches a Continuing Threat

Data breaches are a costly reality in a modern world where so much information is stored digitally.

Any time data is accessed by an individual or group that does not have the proper authorization, a breach has occurred. Companies and organizations need to understand how breaches happen and why they are a constant and growing threat. This is the first step to protect sensitive data effectively.

Human Error

Not all breaches are nefarious. Whenever an employee accesses data they are not supposed to have access to, this constitutes a breach. This is the case regardless of whether the data is misused or the access was accidental.

User negligence opens an organization up to more chances of a breach. Negligent practices include staying logged in to an unattended computer, having poor password hygiene, and failing to regularly patch software.

Some situations should also prompt extra vigilance, such as when employees travel with mobile phones and laptops they use for work. These devices, especially if left unattended, are at a greater risk of theft.

To combat these unintentional risks, organizations should foster a culture of cybersecurity. Employee training should address the organization’s data security policies, processes, and approved security tools. Software like DriveStrike can enable administrators to locate and wipe company devices in the event that they are lost or stolen. Other critical steps include applying updates, encrypting machines, and using a strong endpoint security software.

Start Your Free 30 Day Trial

Each day brings new data security challenges, so your organization needs simple and wide-reaching solutions to combat those challenges. DriveStrike is here to help you protect your most critical data with premium quality endpoint security. Start a free trial with DriveStrike today, and contact us if you need any assistance. Our team is always ready to answer your questions.

 

Insider Threats

Unfortunately, training can only go so far when there is malicious intent. When establishing data breach protections, it is important to keep in mind all potential threat actors. Employees who are unhappy with their employer, being coerced, or dealing with financial pressure can all put a company’s data at serious risk.

Many data breaches come in the form of privilege misuse, where employees utilize the access they have to gather information for personal gain. Companies must take steps to decrease that danger. Allow employees only the minimum access needed to do their jobs successfully, and regularly check and update authorization lists. Keep to a strict offboarding timeline so anyone who leaves the organization cannot access internal resources. Monitoring network traffic and activity logs is important for discovering suspicious activity.

Keep server rooms and cabinets with sensitive data and materials locked. Use network segmentation and other digital barriers to limit the access any individual authorized user may have. Consider creating polices that require more than one person to be present when accessing highly sensitive information. These steps will help manage inside hazards to breaches.

External Attacks

In a world where information is power, organizations that handle private and proprietary data need to be aware of external threats. Data breaches can involve a variety of different tactics, and thus require different methods to protect sensitive information.

The variety and styles of external data breach attempts change rapidly as technology evolves. For example, ransomware used to be seen as merely a hassle as long as companies had data backed up. However, recent trends indicate that now almost half of the attackers who use ransomware also steal data before encrypting the system as a way to increase pressure for organizations to pay. In light of this, it is worth treating ransomware attacks as data breaches.

The recent December ransomware attack that crippled Kronos, a payroll system used by organizations around the world, has caused a network outage that the company warned may last for weeks. This attack is forcing organizations such as NPR, George Washington University, the Oregon Department of Transportation, and MaineHealth to take mitigation steps like issuing paper payroll checks. The City of Cleveland, Ohio, which uses Kronos, has warned employees that the last four digits of their social security numbers may be at risk. This means that it is not merely a data-hostage situation, but a data breach of some magnitude.

 

In the face of all of this, companies need to be proactive to protect against breaches. This involves the combined effort of management, IT, and employees. Crafting strong policies, training employees, and utilizing a powerful endpoint security system like DriveStrike are all key elements of preventing data breaches.

With the right principles governing your security posture, you can be responsive to new threats as the methods of these breaches evolve over time. Starting with initiative and the proper tools, all organizations can defend their data from cyber criminals and protect their employees, customers, and assets.

About DriveStrike

DriveStrike is a software solution to protect organizational devices and data, complete with Remote Locking and Wiping capabilities and encryption management options. Contact our team with any questions, and start protecting against data breaches today with a Free 30 Day Trial. Your security is our priority!

Start Your Free 30 Day Trial

Each day brings new data security challenges, so your organization needs simple and wide-reaching solutions to combat those challenges. DriveStrike is here to help you protect your most critical data with premium quality endpoint security. Start a free trial with DriveStrike today, and contact us if you need any assistance. Our team is always ready to answer your questions.